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99 Coping Skills List (+FREE Coping Worksheets PDF)

100 coping skills

Here is a list of 99 coping skills that will help you manage your difficult emotions each time.

Adaptive vs. Maladaptive Coping Styles

Coping is the process of managing or tolerating negative events or situations.

People differ in the way in which they cope with challenging situations. Some face challenges with resilience and hope, while others give up and succumb to their despair.

Research has identified four main coping styles:

  1. overcontrol,
  2. passive coping,
  3. active coping, and
  4. surrender.

Overcontrol and passive coping are maladaptive coping styles, while active coping and surrender are adaptive coping styles.

Maladaptive Coping Styles

1. Overcontrol

People who overcontrol find it difficult to accept that their personal control in any situation can be limited.

They may start obsessively thinking and trying to “figure it out.”

Related: How To Break Controlling Behavior? Best 6 Ways to Let Go of Wanting to Control Everything

2. Passive Coping

People who are passive in their coping underestimate how much personal control they have in a given situation.

They often deny personal responsibility and relinquish the control of their reaction to situations.

Examples of passive coping strategies include:

  • complaining to others
  • avoiding challenging activities; or
  • relying on self-medication or addictions to cope with difficult emotions.

Related: How To Set Boundaries In A Toxic Relationship? Top 25 Effective Ways to Enforce Boundaries In Relationships

Adaptive Coping Styles

3. Active Coping

People who engage in active coping take direct action to deal with a challenging situation or reduce its effects.

Active coping strategies include:

  • Changing the situation
  • Changing one’s thoughts about the situation (e.g., reframing the meaning of the problem)

Related: How To Manage Overwhelming Emotions? Top 9 Difficult Emotions To Manage In A Positive Way

4. Surrender

In some situations, the best way to cope can be to let go of control and surrender.

Simply accepting that there is only so much you can do in certain situation can help you cope better.

The key here is to determine the amount of personal control you have in a given situation and act accordingly.

Example of situations where control can be counterproductive may include:

  • Trying to get rid of obsessive thoughts
  • Trying to fall asleep

Related: How To Deal With Suffering In Your Life? Top 4 Secrets To Stop Suffering And Emotional Pain

99 Coping Skills List

1. Emotional Coping Skills

1. Allow yourself to cry

2. Allow yourself to feel and express all of your feelings safely

3. Empower yourself through learning and psychoeducation

4. Find things that make you laugh

5. Give yourself affirmations, praise yourself

6. Identify comforting activities, objects, people, relationships, places and seek them out

7. Intentionally schedule “me time” on your calendar

8. Light scented candles, oils or incense

Related: Top 45 Self Care Day Ideas at Home To Kickstart Your Self Care Ritual (+Free Self Care Worksheets PDF)

9. Listen to the radio

10. Look at pictures of loved ones

11. Make a playlist of upbeat songs

12. Make time for self-reflection

13. Play video games

14. See a therapist regularly or during times of high stress

15. Seek out peer support

16. Start a gratitude journal

17. Take a moment to express gratitude

18. Try some adult coloring as a form of anxiety and/or stress release

19. Try some mindful exercises to help bring you into the present moment

20. Watch a funny movie

21. Write things you like about yourself

Related: 30-Day Self-Love Challenge That Will Radically Change Your Life

2. Intellectual Coping Skills

22. Do arts and crafts

23. Do jigsaw puzzles

24. Hobbies (stamp collect, model build, etc.)

25. Listen to a podcast

26. Listen to an audiobook

27. Listen to classical music

28. Play musical instruments

29. Read your favorite book

30. Research a topic of interest

31. Re-watch a favorite movie

32. Sketch, paint

33. Soak in the bathtub

34. Take photographs

35. Watch TV, videos

36. Write (e.g. poems, articles, blog, books)

37. Write in your journal

Related: Top +100 Journal Prompts For Mental Health [+Free PDF Printable!]

3. Physical Coping Skills

38. Change your hair color

39. Cook your favorite dish or meal

40. Do some stretching exercises

41. Do yoga, tai chi, or Pilates, or take classes to learn

42. Drink more water

43. Eat chocolate

44. Exercise

45. Get a massage

46. Go borrow a friend’s dog and take it to the park

47. Go dancing

48. Go for a bike ride

49. Go for a drive in your car

50. Go for a swim

51. Go get a haircut

52. Go out and spend 10 minutes under the sun

53. Go out for something to eat

54. Go shopping

55. Go to a spa

56. Go to bed early

57. Go to the beach

58. Go to the zoo or aquarium

59. Have a warm drink

60. Jump on a trampoline

61. Lift weights

62. Sleep or take a nap

Read: Which LED Light Is Best For Sleep? (& How to Get Quality Sleep & Stop Bad Dreams)

63. Take a walk

64. Take time off when needed

65. Do the dishes

66. Mow the lawn

67. Organize your work space

68. Organize your wardrobe

69. Repair things around the house

70. Upcycle or creatively reuse old items

71. Wash your car

72. Walk barefoot on soft grass

4. Social Coping Skills

73. Ask for help

74. Avoid toxic people

75. Call a trusted friend or family member

Pro Tip: Get the support you need whenever and wherever you want with 7Cupsoftea. It’s an on-demand emotional health service that connects you to caring listeners for FREE.

76. Give your pet a bath

77. Go online to chat

78. Go out and visit a friend

79. Have a video call with someone who lives far away

80. Hold hands

81. Intentionally reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with

82. Join a support group

83. Spend an evening with good friends

84. Take children places

5. Spiritual Coping Skills

85. Bake something to share with others (e.g. family, neighbours, friends, work colleagues)

86. Do 5 minutes of calm deep breath

87. Do a 10-minute body scan technique to check in with each part of your body

88. Do something nice for someone in secret

89. Donate blood

90. Donate money to a charity of your choosing

91. Express gratitude

Related: How To Practice Gratitude When Depressed? (10 Practical Gratitude Exercises)

92. Give positive feedback about something

93. Go to your church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or other place of worship

94. Identify what is meaningful to you

95. Make time for meditation in your day

96. Memorialize loved ones who have passed on

97. Prayer

98. Read inspirational literature

99. Volunteer at an animal shelter

FREE Coping Skills Worksheets

100 coping skills pdf download


By Hadiah

Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.

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